If you’re looking for a little help-me-survive-the-in-laws this Thanksgiving, a glass or two of wine may not be your only option. In fact, according to a new study, it may not even be your healthiest one. That’s because researchers are now telling us that beer can provide some better health benefits–even if it doesn’t go as well with turkey.
Scientists at Italy’s Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura studied the drinking habits of over 200,000 people and their relation with cardiovascular disease. They found that beer drinkers had a 42% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Wine drinkers, on the other hand, had a 31% risk reduction, which is interesting, because up until now, we’ve mostly heard about the heart-healthy benefits of our favorite Cabernet.
While this news may encourage some to head to the nearest bar for some happy hour brews to relieve our holiday stress, researchers warn us that the health boosts only come with moderation (doesn’t everything?). According to this study, maximum heart benefits come from drinking a little more than a pint per day of beer with a 5% alcohol content.
So does this mean all alcohol is potentially good for us? We have been thinking that the reason wine was beneficial was because of the chemical, resveratrol, which is found in grapes. But beer of course doesn’t contain resveratrol, even though it may have other healthy polyphenols. Still, researchers speculate that the reduction in heart disease may come more from the lifestyle of moderate beer drinkers versus the specific compounds found in the brew.
Augusto Di Castelnuovo, the head of the Statistic Unit at the Research Laboratories stated:
What we are talking about is moderate and regular drinking. I think we will never stress enough this concept. Wine or beer are part of a lifestyle. One glass can pair with healthy foods, eaten at proper time, maybe together with family of friends. There is no place for binge drinking or any other form of heavy consumption.
Darn. Guess we’ll have to find another way to de-stress from our mothers-in-law this Thanksgiving.